Public Boat Trips on Lake Champlain Aboard the R/V Marcelle Melosira

Each summer Lake Champlain Sea Grant and UVM Extension host a series of Summer on the Lake educational boat trips. On various dates during June, July, and August 2024, the public is invited aboard the UVM research and education vessel, the Marcelle Melosira, to build scientific, geologic, cultural, and historical knowledge about Lake Champlain and its watershed. Each trip will focus on one of two themes, either Stories of Lake Champlain or Lake Champlain Live (see descriptions below).

Theme 1: Stories of Lake Champlain will provide a cultural and historical view of Lake Champlain. First, participants will learn about the culture and history of native tribes in the area and their relationship with water by watching a short film called Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water. Then, participants learn about geology and the formation of the Lake Champlain basin and lake. Later in the trip, participants will learn about the lake’s naval history following European settlement before returning to dock.

Stops and sights on the trip may include depending on weather conditions:

  • Red Rocks
  • Lone Rock Point
  • Rock Dunder, a small rock island, which embodies the spirit of Oodzee-hozo, the creator of Lake Champlain in Abenaki legend
  • The Horse Ferry Shipwreck, located off of North Beach


Theme 2: Lake Champlain Live will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about and try their hands as limnologists (i.e., those who study freshwater ecosystems like lakes, rivers and streams). Following an interactive introduction to the geology and formation of the Lake Champlain basin and the lake, participants will learn about biological, chemical and physical measurements limnologists make to improve our understanding of the lake, its watershed, and our impacts on them.

Participants will engage in such activities as:

  • Towing for & identifying plankton
  • Assessing for invasive species
  • Using and interpreting a conductivity-temperature-depth meter
  • Monitoring water clarity

Additional Information:

Cost: $30 per person. We are committed to educating as broad of an audience as possible through these on-lake trips. The participation fee covers the cost of fuel and personnel time. A limited number of scholarships are available for those with financial constraints. Please contact seagrant [at] to inquire about this option if interested.

Trip Policies:

  • Please arrive at the dock a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the time of your reservation. The vessel will leave at the scheduled departure time so plan accordingly. 
  • Passengers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult (minimum age is 8; sorry no exceptions).
  • Passengers must wear closed-toe shoes.
  • To attend a trip, online registration in advance of the trip is required. 
  • Accessibility: If you need physical or language accommodations, please contact us via email at seagrant [at] or call (802) 777-9130 no later than two weeks before your chosen date so we can assist you. 

Cancellation Policy: 

  • Cancellations must be made more than 1 week before your scheduled trip departure to be eligible for a refund.
  • No-shows are responsible for 100% of trip fees.
  • Trips will go on unless there is extreme weather (e.g., lightning storms, wind) in the area. The Lake Champlain Sea Grant staff and boat captain will do their best to make a call on whether a trip will go out within 12 hours of the trip.


What to Bring: ​Participants should come prepared with rain gearsun hats, sunscreen, warm clothes (it can be significantly colder on the water than on the land), water, and closed-toe shoes. Note that wearing closed-toe shoes is a safety requirement and therefore is not optional. Everyone participating (or parents/guardians) will need to sign a liability waiver before boarding the boat.


Vermont Trip Dates: 

For the Vermont trip series, the vessel will board from the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory at 3 College Street Burlington, VT.  

  • Tuesday, June 18th 2024, from 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Lake Champlain Live 

  • Monday, July 15th, 2024, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Stories of Lake Champlain

  • Thursday, July 25th, 2024, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Lake Champlain Live

  • Friday, August 2nd, 2024, from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM - Stories of Lake Champlain

Register for the Vermont Based Public R/V Trips



New York Trip Dates: 

For the New York trip series, the vessel will board from Plattsburgh City Marina at 2 Dock Street Plattsburgh, NY.  

  • Tuesday August 27th, 2024, from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM - Lake Champlain Live
  • Tuesday August 27th, 2024, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Lake Champlain Live
  • Wednesday August 28th, 2024, from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Lake Champlain Live

Register for the New York Based Public R/V Trips

Please be aware that access to the boat at Plattsburgh City Marina will require climbing a ladder up and down.

For more information regarding the Public Trip programs please contact seagrant [at] 


Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.